Victoria’s international education sector has set records for enrolments and economic impact, cementing the sector’s status as a multi-billion-dollar export earner.
New figures show international students from 170 countries accounted for 281,000 enrolments last year, up 11.4 per cent, supporting almost 79,000 Victorian jobs and generating $11.8 billion in export revenue.
Revenue for Victoria has increased by 89 per cent since 2014, making international education the state’s largest export category, ahead of tourism ($5.4 billion) and wool ($2.1 billion).
The total number of international students was 227,000, with some enrolled in multiple courses.
The top five countries for onshore students were China (88,401), India (50,463), Malaysia (16,643), Vietnam (12,763) and Sri Lanka (9,541). The most popular fields of study were management and commerce (32 per cent), arts and humanities (21 per cent), IT (10 per cent) and foundation studies (10 per cent).
Victoria is a premium higher education and research destination, with higher education responsible for half of all international student enrolments. Melbourne is Australia’s top student city as ranked by the QS Best Student Cities 2019 report, where it was also ranked third best student city in the world.
That high standing is due to the quality student experience that Victoria offers, enhanced by the Andrews Labor Government’s nation-leading investment in student wellbeing services.
Today, the Labor Government announced almost $1 million in International Student Welfare Program grants, supporting 27 projects.
Since 2014, the Government has committed $4 million to 104 projects that protect and promote international student wellbeing in areas including sport, work rights, accommodation, legal services and mental health.
The Government also operates the Study Melbourne Student Centre, a central hub on Hardware Lane where students have access to a broad range of free services, face-to-face case management and professional development programs. The centre has helped more than 6,300 students since September 2018.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade Martin Pakula
“Victoria’s international education sector is going from strength to strength, supporting tens of thousands of direct jobs and breaking export records.”
“International students are a valued part of our vibrant multicultural community. They strengthen Victoria’s global networks and enhance the experience of local students and we are proud to offer programs to support them.”